It was a bit of a fairy tale situation for Into the Woods stars Mackenzie Mauzy, who plays Rapunzel and Billy Magnussen who portrays her Prince in the Rob Marshall-directed modern musical twist on the Brothers Grimm.

For both, their Toronto trip was their first time on a press tour with a big studio picture and they were clearly enjoying the experience.
Into the Woods also stars Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp and includes well-loved tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and, of course, Rapunzel. The movie opens Dec. 25.

It wasn’t all magical making the movie version of the Broadway hit. Mauzy had a heavy, 10-metre hunk of hair sewn into a braided circle on top of her head daily to play the maiden trapped in a high tower, accessible only by climbing up her lengthy locks.
And then there were the real snakes — unseen on camera but all too obvious to the phobic Mauzy — she had to deal with after leaping into a swamp in one dramatic scene.

As for Magnussen, he had to learn to ride and took lessons to look the part of the Prince. Although he was a novice rider, he had to gallop on his steed blindfolded in several scenes. Spoiler alert: his sideburns are stick-on; Magnussen wasn’t able to grow his own.
Magnussen said his most challenging time on set came when he wrapped on Into the Woods. “It was the hardest day,” said Magnussen. “I didn’t want to leave that fairy tale.”

The Star asked Mauzy (MM) and Magnussen (BM) to answer these five questions:

If your Into the Woods characters were in Toronto, where would you do your scenes?
BM: CN Tower! Boom baby, it’s right there, it’s so high. There’s also the Ontario College of Art. That would be cool.

If you could swap roles with anyone in the film, who would you play?
MM: Jack (Daniel Huttlestone). I think it’s such a fun role. I like giants in the sky and he’s such a passionate character and there’s a great arc to his story.
BM: I guess the Baker (James Corden) because he overcomes such a huge obstacle of breaking the chain of his father’s choices and to have the courage to become the father he needs to be and wants to be.

Both of you are teamed onscreen with big stars. What was it like working with Chris Pine (Cinderella’s Prince, brother of Rapunzel’s Prince) and Meryl Streep (the Witch, who takes Rapunzel and raises her as her daughter)?
BM: I can say I have a friend now (in Pine). He’s generous, a smart actor and just a good friend now. I really think he’s wonderful.
MM: Amazing. (Streep) gives you so much in a scene and you receive it and give something back as a product of that and something new is created … and she’s a wonderful human being. Very aware of the effect she has on a room and does everything she can to make you feel comfortable. She’s a wonderful woman: mother, friend, actress, leader, she really brought this cast together.

You both come from daytime dramas. (Magnussen on As The World Turns and Mauzy on Guiding Light, and The Bold and the Beautiful). Who from Into the Woods would you like to see on a soap?
BM: The Witch is the aunt that comes in and says: “I slept with your brother!” I have to say soaps were the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s like boot camp for acting.
MM: I think Chris Pine’s Prince is such a daytime drama hunk character.

Do you believe in happily ever after?
BM: I realized at least for Rapunzel’s Prince, you’re not Prince Charming but you can be right for someone. You’re not prefect.
MM: Happily ever after has this thing attached to it that implies things have to be perfect and that’s the misconception. I do believe in long-term relationships that can be really beautiful that doesn’t mean there isn’t gong to be a struggle along the way. There is a level of it that requires work, not just a relationship but happily ever after in a job or whatever that means to you. I think that’s what Into the Woods addresses: these people getting what they wanted and then having to deal with the consequences.

Source: Toronto Star